The following is contributed by Ed Farr. Please feel free to comment on Facebook
Inflation is Old as Greed and More Dangerous.
Inflation started with the first coins. Coins were created as a way to guarantee value. It was bogus, of course. Emperors started debasing coins as soon as the first budget deficit emerged. Paper money made corruption easier. Just print it and shop ‘til you drop.
Electronic money is worse yet. Central banks can create new accounts out of nothing. Suppose you head a government agency. The Federal Reserve (the Fed) gives you a check book and a balance with no money behind it. You run around writing checks. Everyone accepts your checks because the Fed clears them. Sellers deposit your checks in their banks and make other purchases. Nobody asks to see the money. Everyone just keeps on writing checks.
Prices rise as a result. Your agency buys while prices are low. Your spending takes goods from the market, causing scarcity. Scarcity pushes prices up for the “little guy.” The government sucks value out of the nation’s real wealth. Creating money takes buying power from citizens. It’s a hidden tax. Unlike a direct tax, a hidden tax can be raised whenever the government wishes.
We let it happen because they feeds us this Big Lie: “Inflation is necessary while deflation is dangerous. Creating new money doesn’t cause excessive inflation; greed or something else does. The Fed protects the economy. We must have a flexible currency so we can adjust its value. Quantitative easing is not the same thing as wantonly printing money. Only a highly trained economist from one of the great institutions can understand all this. The rest of you should shut up.”
This Big Lie is popular because it tells the politicians what they want to hear. It gives them an excuse to expand borrowing and spending. The government buys everything, from ships to Obama phones but most spending really buys the politician’s favorite commodity: Votes!
Common Sense: Icing the issue
Mayor DeBlasio went after Assemblymember Nicole Malliotakis on radio recently saying she “loves to spew right-wing rhetoric.” Besides the fact that I can see nothing wrong with being right-wing, it is worth noting that he is upset with her legal efforts to protect the documents used in the NYCID program from destruction and her criticism of the city’s sanctuary city status. Nicole — and for that matter Assemblymember Ron Castorina, who has also weighed in on these issues — is absolutely right.
New York City’s sanctuary city status might cost it millions in federal dollars based on an executive order by the president and Attorney General Sessions’s pronouncement that the Justice Department in accordance will begin to withhold funding. This action is consistent with many past federal actions designed to get a local government to comply with a federal rule or law.
In order to keep the funding, the city needs to follow the law. The federal law says if you are an undocumented alien and you have committed a crime, the city will provide ICE with information so that you may be located and deported at some point. This makes sense. The city, on the other hand, is putting our lives at risk by not informing ICE and by fighting with the Justice Department.
Neither Nicole nor Ron are running for mayor. Possibly one should be since, among all the declared candidates, only one — Michael Faulkner — shares this view. Paul Massey and Bo Dietl seem to be all over the place on this issue. Anyone and everyone who has shown an interest in challenging de Blasio in a Democratic primary has the identical position to him.
This is a big issue for the Conservative Party in the city. Whoever the party eventually nominates (and I serve as Brooklyn chairperson) will need to be willing as mayor to comply with the federal mandate. Mr. Mayor, I know that makes us right-wingers in your view. All I can say is, thank you.
* * *
I talk a lot of politics. Sometimes, I think, too much. There are many more important things happening, particularly this time of year. The next few weeks are a very blessed time for the world’s Christian and Jewish believers. It is an excellent time to reflect on the world and the role you play in it. It is also the perfect time to focus on the Judeo-Christian traditions and teachings that make many of us who we are, spiritually and morally.
The practice of religion can be an excellent anchor in one’s life. I am a practicing Roman Catholic and strongly feel that the years I spent in Catholic schools and the time I spend involved in my religion have been of great benefit to me.
Regardless of your beliefs, thinking about one’s existence and the role a higher being plays in it I feel is important. It certainly helps to frame a long term purpose for many of us. And it provides a certain calmness when confronting late-in-life issues for yourself and loved ones.
I have no interest in sounding like I am lecturing. I am just suggesting that this would be a great time for Christians and Jews who have fallen away from the practice of their beliefs to consider returning.
1st of 3 Opinion Pieces contributed by Ed Farr – Democrats Care For the Little Guy So They Can Rob Him.
The first law of politics is power. Power goes to those who fight for it. Successful politicians can fight clean or dirty but the standard mode of the Democrats is corrupt to its core. The Democrat way is simple to state. They use public money to buy votes. Public money is your money received in taxes. It is used against you in various ways.
Keep single moms single and dependent on government. Support public sector unions and keep them dependent on government. Create huge bureaucracies. Hire millions who depend on government. Take over student lending. Make colleges dependent on government. The list goes on.
Republicans can be accused of doing the same sort of things. Lucky for them, the Conservatives are there to keep reminding them who they are. Democrats though, have found a way to take the concept to unheard of levels. They don’t limit vote buying to the yearly tax receipts. They have latched on to some economic absurdities that open new forms of corruption.
The worst tool of corruption is inflation. Inflation hurts the poor first and the weak worst. Here’s how it happens.
The Federal Reserve (the Fed) creates new money by buying government debt. They pay for it by creating accounts out of nothing. They don’t even print money. They just give the government a checkbook and a balance.
The government is the “first receiver.” The new money goes to government purchases. Those who sell to government are second receivers. The money is spent again, going to third receivers and so on. Early receivers get their stuff cheap but their spending drives up prices. When late receivers begin to get some of that money prices are inflated. The last receivers are retired people, the weak, the infirm, the working poor. Democrats claim to care about such people. They only care about their votes while they keep them poor and dependent on government.
More on this in my next article.
For the Green Left Islam is a Threat. by Ed Farr
By the Green Left I mean leftists who push the global warming argument. If scientists agree that we must change our behavior to save the planet then Islam should scare the boots off them.
There are 1.6 billion Muslims. In 50 to 70 years experts predict 13 billion people on earth, half of them Muslim. If you are younger than 40 you may still be around. Renewable energy for such a mass would require vast areas covered with various gizmos yet to be invented. Forget about forests. There won’t be room. Forget about governments too. Given a Muslim majority, a world caliphate is practically unavoidable.
Can we expect that Islam will evolve into a tolerant faith, like Christianity has? It’s unlikely and here’s why. Moderate Muslims exist mostly where they are protected among Christians, Jews, atheists and so forth. The oppressed Uighurs in China are at least safe from other Muslims. Under a world caliphate this will no longer be so.
Moderate Muslims are non-violent by definition. The non-violent always succumb when violence is in power. History gives examples. The Third Reich, the Soviet Union, the Ottoman Empire and Belgian Africa were ruled through violence.
Islam is about submission, not reason. In the 9th century, Islam began its retreat from logic and reason. Muslim theology is not required to make sense. You read the Quran and follow instructions. Science is immaterial. Some clerics claim there are warnings about climate change in the Quran but this has had little impact on Islamic nations. Fundamentalist Muslims are not big on population control or saving the world. Many welcome global warming as an end-of-days scenario. The sciences they do best are fossil fuel and war.
Hope requires that enlightened Muslims win out against the fanatics. This hinges on a debate over the Quran itself. Some say it was written. Others say it was revealed. If the “revealed” crowd wins out life will be hard for the Green Left. Al Gore should think about this, but he’s the guy who sold out to Al Jazeera as I recall.
Brooklyn Conservatives Strongly Urge Congressman Donovan Reconsider Intended No Vote on Obamacare Repeal
Brooklyn Conservatives are disappointed with Congressman Dan Donovan’s intention to vote against the repeal of Obamacare as relayed in his public statement.. The 2016 election was waged over this issue and the election of of President Trump, who was supported by both Donovan and the Conservative Party, was the result. Congressman’ Donovan’s intended vote against the repeal would be a betrayal of the result of the election. The Conservative Party strongly disagrees with his intent to vote against the Obamacare repeal and strongly urges him to reconsider.
Local Civic Leader Sandy Vallas to be honored, Mayoral Candidates to Speak at Brooklyn Conservatives, Annual Brunch April 2nd Reserve Now
Sandy Vallas, a real estate broker by trade, spends a great deal of time helping the community. Whether it is his activity on the Dyker Heights Civic Association, or his work in education as a Trustee to Holy Cross Greek Orthodox Church and then activity with the Fort Hamilton Parents Association, Vallas has been active and involved with almost everything important in the neighborhood. As President of the Greek American Property Owners Association and as a concerned citizen, Sandy Vallas puts his energy and time into the community he loves. He embodies the volunteer spirit and civic responsibility for which the Ronald Reagan Americanism Award was established by the Brooklyn Conservatives. We will proudly bestow the award to him at our annual brunch on April 2, 2017 at the Bay Ridge Manor- 76th Street off 5th Avenue at 12 noon.
Brooklyn Conservatives will also present State Senator Simcha Felder with an award from the NYS Conservative Party for the best Conservative Party rating among NYS Senators. In addition, two candidates for Mayor of New York, Rev. Michel Faulkner and Bo Dietl will speak at this annual event.
Reserve now. Tickets are only $60pp payable to Kings County Conservative Party. Mail to Kings County Conservative Party 486 78th Street, Brooklyn, NY 11209.
CONGRATULATIONS TO ASSEMBLYWOMAN MALLIOTAKIS:NAMED STATE DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL FOUNDATION FOR WOMEN LEGISLATORS
This just released.. Let’s give her a hand
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 31, 2017
MALLIOTAKIS NAMED STATE DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL FOUNDATION FOR WOMEN LEGISLATORS
Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis (R,C,I-Brooklyn/Staten Island) has been named New York State Director of the National Foundation for Women Legislators (NFWL). The NFWL aims to empower and inspire elected women to become thought leaders who shape America’s future by providing strategic resources to elected women for leadership development, an exchange of diverse legislative ideas, and effective governance through conferences, state outreach, educational materials, professional and personal relationships and networking. As a State Director, Malliotakis will serve as a point of contact for elected women in New York, and work to bring more elected women the opportunities and resources that NFWL has to offer.
“I want to thank NFWL for selecting me to coordinate their efforts in the State of New York. I am honored to serve my colleagues as State Director and will do my best to grow this remarkable organization that has empowered many women to step in to elected positions across the country. I look forward to helping one our nation’s oldest non-partisan organization and identifying and addressing the needs of elected women at all levels of government,” said Malliotakis.
“We are so proud Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis has accepted a leadership position in our Foundation,” stated Minnesota State Senator Carrie Ruud, NFWL’s 2017 Chair. “NFWL’s theme for 2017 is leadership, and Nicole exemplifies this theme. She will play a key role in aiding women legislators in New York, as we continue to grow as an organization.”
Malliotakis begins serving in her new position immediately, and will hold this office through the end of 2017.
Malliotakis: NYC Must End ‘Sanctuary City’ Policy that Harbors Criminals
Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis (R,C,I-Brooklyn, Staten Island) is calling on the City of New York to comply with President Donald Trump’s recently announced Executive Order: Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States.
According to the NYPD’s Summary of Statistics on U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Detainers from October 1, 2015 to September 30, 2016, the Department received 80 civil immigration detainers for undocumented individuals considered a threat to public safety. Only 2 detainers were honored and 78 were denied.
Section 9 (a) of President Trump’s executive order states: “In furtherance of this policy, the Attorney General and the Secretary, in their discretion and to the extent consistent with law, shall ensure that jurisdictions that willfully refuse to comply with 8 U.S.C. 1373 (sanctuary jurisdictions) are not eligible to receive Federal grants, except as deemed necessary for law enforcement purposes by the Attorney General or the Secretary. The Secretary has the authority to designate, in his discretion and to the extent consistent with law, a jurisdiction as a sanctuary jurisdiction. The Attorney General shall take appropriate enforcement action against any entity that violates 8 U.S.C. 1373, or which has in effect a statute, policy, or practice that prevents or hinders the enforcement of Federal law.”
Subsection (b) continues: “To better inform the public regarding the public safety threats associated with sanctuary jurisdictions, the Secretary shall utilize the Declined Detainer Outcome Report or its equivalent and, on a weekly basis, make public a comprehensive list of criminal actions committed by aliens and any jurisdiction that ignored or otherwise failed to honor any detainers with respect to such aliens.”
In 2014 the New York City Council enacted two resolutions, Local Law No. 58 and Local Law No. 59, to significantly impede cooperation between the New York City Department of Correction (DOC), NYPD, and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), by prohibiting DOC and NYPD from honoring immigration detainers unless accompanied by a federal warrant and the person:
(1) Has either been convicted of a violent or serious crime, or
(2) Is identified as a possible match on in the terrorist screening database. (N.Y.C. Admin. Code §§ 9-131, 14-154).
Crimes not considered “violent or serious” include Grand Larceny in the First Degree, Aggravated Identity Theft, Criminal Diversion of Prescription Medications and Prescriptions in the First Degree, Sexual Abuse in the Second Degree, and Aggravated Patronizing a Minor for Prostitution in the First Degree, among others.
During the Administration of President Barack Obama, ICE agents were advised to issue a detainer only where the individual was suspected of posing a danger to national security, affiliated with an organized criminal gang, convicted of a felony unrelated to immigration status, convicted of an aggravated felony, convicted of three or more misdemeanors unrelated to immigration status or minor traffic offenses, or convicted of a misdemeanor related to a sex offense, burglary, firearms, drugs, driving under the influence, or any offense requiring 90 days or more in police custody.
“Under the Obama Administration, the Department of Homeland Security already limited the issuance of civil detainers to situations where the individual is considered dangerous or has already been convicted of breaking the law. Despite these restrictive criteria, from October 2014 to October 2015 the City of New York honored only 6% of civil detainer requests from federal authorities. Over the subsequent year, that rate has fallen to just 2.5%,” said Assemblywoman Malliotakis. “It’s truly frightening that our City refuses to treat criminals in accordance with federal law, and would jeopardize federal funding by harboring individuals who have committed crimes from deportation. It is time to restore New York City to a law-and-order city.”
Brooklyn Conservatives File Amicus Brief Supporting Assemblymembers Castorina and Malliotakis’ action to Stop NYC from Destroying IDNYC Data
Our Amicus Brief in support of Assemblymembers Ron Castorina, Jr. and Nicole Malliotakis’ action to stop NYC from destroying IDNYC data:
SUPREME COURT OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK
COUNTY OF RICHMOND
In the Matter of :INDEX NO. 80258/16
RONALD CASTORlNA, JR.} and NICOLE MALLIOTAKIS
BILL DE BLASIO, in his official capacity as MAYOR OF THE CITY OF NEW YORK,
THE OFFICE OF THE MAYOR OF THE CITY OF NEW YORK,
MELISSA MARK-VIVERITO, in her official capacity as the SPEAKER OF THE NEW YORK CITY COUNCIL,
STEVEN BANKS, COMMISSIONER OF THE NEW YORK CITY HUMAN RESOURCES ADMINISTRATION /DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL SERVICES, in his official capacity,
MATTHEW BRUNE, CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER OF THE NEW YORK CITY HUMAN RESOURCES ADMINISTRATION/DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL SERVICES, in his official capacity, and
RICARDO BROWNE, EXECUTIVE DEPUTY COMMISSIONER, MANAGEMENT INFORMATION SYSTEMS, HUMAN RESOURCES ADMINISTRATION/DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL
SERVICES, in his official capacity,
For a Judgement Pursuant to Article 78 of the Civil Practice Law and Rules.
AMICUS BRIEF IN SUPPORT OF PETITIONERS/PLAINTIFFS’ ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE
Kings County Conservative Party
486 78th Street
Brooklyn, New York 11209
By Ross Brady, Esquire
TABLE OF CONTENTS
TABLE OF AUTHORITIES………………………………………………………………………. 3
STATEMENT OF FACTS………………………………………………………………………….5
The Court should grant Petitioners’ motion to prevent The Mayor, City Council, and members, who exceed their jurisdiction, from destroying data collected in the IDNYC process and thus violating the New York Freedom of Information Law (FOIL)………………………………………………………………8
The IDNYC enabling statute and subsequently issued regulations restricting access to records and permitting their destruction violates the New York State Freedom of Information Law……………………..9
TABLE OF AUTHORITIES
Bradford v. Helman, 24 AD2d 937 (ls1 Dep’t 1965) ………………………………… 8
Newsday, Inc. v. Sise, 71 NY2d 146 (1987) …………………………………………. 8
Roche v. Lamb, 61 Misc.2d 633 (N.Y. Sup. Ct. 1969), app. dismissed, 33 AD2d 1102 (4th
Dep’t 1970), aff d, 26 NY2d 54 (1970) …………………………………………………… 9
Tartan Oil Corp. v. State Dept. of Taxation & Fin., 239 AD2d 36 (3d Dep’t. 1998) .. 8
C.P.L.R. § 7803(2) ………………………. …………………………………………… 8
Public Officers Law § 84 …………… ………………………………………………. 8
Public Officers Law § 89 ……………………………………………………………. 9
Vehicle and Traffic Law § 502 ……… .. . …………………………………………… 10
Vehicle and Traffic Law § 508 …….. … . …………………………………………… 10
15 NYCRR § 160 et seq. ……………………………. ……………. ………………… 10
15 NYCRR § 161 et seq. …………………………………………………………….. 10
NEW YORK CITY LOCAL LAWS
New York City Local Law 35/2014 … . .. . … . ……………………………………….. 6
NEW YORK CITY REGULATIONS
NYC Administrative Code 3-115(e) ……….. ………………………………………… 10
68 RCNY 6-11 ……………………… …………………………………………………. 10
Since 1962, the Kings County Conservative Party has advocated an efficient and limited government, as well as a transparent government for our nation, State and City. In the wake of the September 11th attacks on the United States, including the destruction of the World Trade Center in New York City and the murder of thousands of individuals, the Kings County Conservative Party has consistently supported transparent government and the ability of agencies to share data and information.
It is counterintuitive, if not madness, for the City of New York to destroy information collected to give identification documents to persons regardless of their legal or immigration status. The Administration, along with the City Council Speaker and members of the City Council seek to destroy information that is and should be available not only to agencies, but to individuals seeking information about the precise results of government programs. The effect of such destruction subverts the New York State Freedom of Information Law (FOIL).
The respondents seek to pass to unelected bureaucrats in the Human Resources Administration, the ability to arbitrarily destroy information and over 1,000,000 applications and thereby stymie FOIL requests, obfuscate both persons, our elected officials and law enforcement from receiving information. Even if the respondents prevented the distribution of information only to government agencies having not learned the lessons of September 11th, the act of deleting the information prevents the fulfillment of FOIL requests.
The respondents wish to destroy information goes against the Mayor’s stated wish for transparency and the grand statements of the Council Speaker. It exceeds the authority of the respondents to delegate quasi-judicial functions such as determining what should be available via FOIL, and is clearly politically motivated as demonstrated by statements made during deliberation in the City Council. (1)
The Kings County Conservative Party supports the Petitioners’ cause of action and prays the Court rules in favor of their position and affords appropriate relief.
1 Sally Goldenberg, De Blasio to Disclose ‘Substantive ‘ Lobbyist Meetings, POLITICO, May 27, 2014, Attached to the Affirmation of Jeffrey Alfano (“Alfano Aff.”) as Exhibit A. of Petitioners’ brief;
Kate Taylor, De Blasio Pushes on Information Requests, The New York Times, Oct. 19, 2011. Alfano Aff. Exh. B. of Petitioners’ brief;
Kaela Sanborn-Hum, New York City’s Evolving Approach to Open Data, GOTHAM
GAZETTE, April 11, 2016. Alfano Aff. Exh. C. of Petitioners’ brief;
Tara Palmeir, Municipal ID law has ‘delete in case of Tea Party’ clause, NEW YORK POST, Feb. 16, 2015. Alfano Aff. Exh. D.
STATEMENT OF FACTS
The facts in this matter are as set forth in Petitioners’ brief:
A. Creation of the IDNYC Program
The New York City Council (“Council”) sought to remedy a number of problems it saw
when it adopted the IDNYC program. A major problem identified by the Council was finding a
solution to provide valid identification for citizens who simply have no reason to drive cars.
During hearings contemplating the introduction of a bill enabling the Mayor to create the IDNYC
took testimony from many stakeholders before submitting the measure to the full Council. One
such witness was Mindy Tarlow, the Director of Mayor’s Office of Operations. During her
testimony before the New York City Council’s Committee on Immigration envisioned a municipal
identification program relying on an administrative model similar to the State Department of Motor
Vehicles. See Alfano Aff. Ex. E attached to Petitioner’s brief (Transcript of the Minutes of the Committee on Immigration, April 30, 2014) p. 34 lines 17-25 (considering application process); p. 35 lines 15-25 (considering fraud protection for the document). During the same committee meeting, Sue Dom, a leader of Manhattan Together and Metro-IAF echoed Director Tarlow’s sentiment that a New York City Municipal Identification Card would provide a similar form of identification for her as an 80-year-old woman without the “hassle of dealing with New York Stat’s DMV.” ld. at p. 20 lines 22-25.
When the proposed legislation made it to the floor of the entire Council, Council Member
Levine articulately explained his vote in favor of the measure. The Council Member stated:
New York City is among the localities in America with the lowest rates of driver’s license among its residents. Well under 60% among adults, and it’s plummeting among young people. That number is
trending downward. This at a time when the circumstances in which we need IDs is rapidly proliferating . .. So this provides a solution for over 40% of adults in New York, a number which is growing, that do not have municipal IDs. Alfano Aff. Exh. F of Petitioners’ brief (Transcript of the Minutes of the State Meeting, June 26, 2014) p. 61 lines 13-20).
In the end, IDNYC passed, in part, based on its modeling of the practices and procedures
found in the administration of New York State’s Department of Motor Vehicles ensuring the
integrity of the identification.
However, the IDNYC program contains a provision permitting the destruction of
documents submitted to the government to obtain the identification card. Identification issued
through the NYCID program expires five years after issuance. The New York City Code, however, permits the destruction of records associated with the program after two years solely at the discretion of the Respondents.
B. Contemplation of The Destruction of Public Records in Violation of FOIL
Council members identified the IDNYC enabling statute contained significant drafting
flaws. Id. at p. 42 lines 23-25 and p. 43 lines 2-4 (2) and p. 64 lines 7-19.(3) Glaringly, and identified
by then-Minority Leader Vincent Ignizio, the enabling statute permitted the destruction of public
records leading to serious concerns relating to proper policing within New York City and wherever
IDNYC travel beyond the City’s borders. See NYC Administrative Code 3-115(e), 68 RCNY 6-11, New York City Local Law 35/2014, see also Alfano Exh. F of Petitioners’ brief (Transcript of the Minutes of the State Meeting, June 26, 2014) p. 52 lines 20-25, p. 53 lines 2-25.(4)
In the weeks following the effective date of the enabling statute and accompanying rules,
the public learned the so-called drafting flaws were not included due to the speed of passage but
were part of a methodically thought out plan to circumvent open government requirements
contained in New York Freedom of Information Law.
In a New York Post article entitled “Municipal ID law has ‘delete in case of Tea Party’
clause” Council Member Menchaca bragged about the provision allowing the Respondents to
destroy public records at the end of 2016 was “In case a Tea Party Republican comes into office
and says, ‘We want all of the data from all of the municipal ID programs in the country,’ we’re
going to take the data.” See Alfano Aff. Exh. D. of Petitioners’ brief. While the article speaks about the document destruction provision of the law as a “sunset” provision, nothing can be farther from reality. The IDNYC program would not come to an end should Respondents exercise the document destruction provision before December 31, 2016. The program, instead, continues but the government records supporting the distribution of the government identification card would be destroyed.
2 Council Member Garodnick: “There are open issues here that we are delegating to the Mayor to sort out, including how to conclusively prevent fraud. I recognize the premium that is being placed on speed, but my preference for this institution would have been for the Council to work these questions out in advance.”
3 Council Member Greenfield: “[It] certainly is a complicated issue in terms of Municipal ID, and I share the concerns that some of the members have raised. I think that we could have had some tweaks to the bill. We could have had more robust discussion on the bill, and we certainly could have improvements on the bill. But we in our position as elected official[s] don’t get to vote on perfect legislation normal (sic). We generally get to vote on imperfect legislation and try to figure out the merits of said legislation.”
4 Council Member Ignizio: “It then goes on to say that we will destroy that documents that we retain, that we are tak[ing] from those that are seeking [a municipal id] …. I will vote no on this bill because I believe there are legitimate security concerns that have no[t] been adequately addressed in it, and notwithstanding the desire of my colleagues to act in a compassionate manner to ensure that people aren’t treated .. unfairly.”
C. Petitioners’ Requests To Preserve Publicly Filed IDNYC Documents
On September 1, 2016, the Superintendent of the New York State Department of Financial
Services (hereinafter “the Superintendent”) issued a letter to New York’s banking industry
October 20,2016, Petitioner, Assembly Member Castorina, wrote the Superintendent requesting
the reconsideration of the sentiments contained that letter. See Alfano Aff. Exh. B. of Petitioners’ brief.
The Superintendent issued no response to Assembly Member Castorina’s letter, nor was it
acknowledged in any other way. In recent weeks Mayor de Blasio announced his intention to
destroy all records associated with the issuance of the IDNYC program through his purported
authority under NYC Administrative Code 3-115( e) and 68 RCNY 6-11. See Alfano Aff. Exh. I. of Petitioners’ brief.
On November 28, 2016, Petitioners requested Respondents refrain from destroying any
government documents submitted in connection with the IDNYC program. See Alfano Aff. Exh.
J. of Petitioners’ brief. On November 29, 2016, Respondents publicly rejected Petitioners requests to preserve documents submitted in connection with the IDNYC program through Speaker Mark-Viverito’s statement to the press telling Petitioners to “go ahead [and] sue us.” See Alfano Aff. Exh. K. of Petitioners brief.
Petitioners require access to the governmental documents kept in connection with the
IDNYC program in their roles as members of the New York State Assembly’s Committee on
Banks to introduce legislation concerning the ID’s acceptance in banks governed by New York
law. To preserve these documents Petitioners filed FOIL requests with New York City’s
Department of Human Resources Administration/Department of Social Services (hereinafter
“New York City HRA”).
On November 29,2016, at 12:23: 11 p.m., Assembly Member Castorina submitted a FOIL
request seeking: delivery, to my office address listed above, all scanned application
materials associated with IDNYC (also known as New York City’s Municipal ID program) program maintained by HRA and any other City Agency including the Mayor’s Office in digital format. See Alfano Aff. Exh. L. of Petitioners’ brief.
Similarly, on December 2, 2016, at 6:51:06 p.m., Assembly Member Malliotakis submitted
a FOIL request seeking: delivery, to my office address listed above, all scanned application
materials associated with IDNYC (also known as New York City’s Municipal ID program) program maintained by HRA and any other City Agency including the Mayor’s Office in digital format.
See Alfano Aff. Exh. M. of Petitioners’ brief. Respondents offered no response to either FOIL request!
The Court should grant Petitioners’ motion to prevent The Mayor, City Council, and members, who exceed their jurisdiction, from destroying data collected in the IDNYC process and thus violating the New York Freedom of Information Law (FOIL).
New York State’s Freedom of Information Law, like all freedom of information laws, are liberally construed to maintain records and provide public access to documents and proceedings. The law is an effort at transparency, a goal of government espoused by many, including the Mayor, but not practiced,
The law states:
As state and local government services increase and public problems become more sophisticated
and complex and therefore harder to solve, and with the resultant increase in revenues and
expenditures, it is incumbent upon the state and its localities to extend public accountability
wherever and whenever feasible. The people’s right to know the process of governmental decision
making and to review the documents and statistics leading to determinations is basic to our
society. Access to such information should not be thwarted by shrouding it with the cloak
of secrecy or confidentiality. The legislature therefore declares that government is the public’s
business and that the public, individually and collectively and represented by a free press,
should have access to the records of government in accordance with the provisions of this article.
Public Officers Law § 84, See also Newsday, Inc. v. Sise, 71 NY2d 146 (1987) (Freedom of
Information Law was enacted to provide the public with means to access to government records
in order to encourage public awareness, understanding, and participation in government, and
discourage official secrecy; it is to be liberally construed, and its exemptions narrowly interpreted
so that public is granted maximum access); Tartan Oil Corp. v. State Dept. of Taxation & Fin., 239AD2d 36 (3d Dep’t. 1998) (All record of public agencies are presumptively open to public inspection, and Freedom of Information Law is to be liberally construed with its exceptions
Respondents, as public officers, remain bound by New York’s Freedom of Information
Law. Respondents, consequently, must preserve rather than destroy public records as they indicate
they will do, or have already done concerning the IDNYC program. Assuming Respondents
continue to respect the Freedom of Information Law, this Court must issue an order of prohibition
pursuant to C.P.L.R. § 7803(2) preventing Respondents from venturing beyond their jurisdiction
as public officers by destroying documents associated with the IDNYC program. See Bradford v.
Helman, 24 AD2d 937 (1st Dep’t 1965) (holding a writ of prohibition acts only to forestall action
and not to review action).
Professor Siegel notes in his treatise, New York Practice, that “prohibition does not lie against strictly administrative action, but only against judicial and quasijudicial action.” Siegel, NY Prac. § 559 at 992 [5 th Ed. 2011], see also Roche v. Lamb, 61 Misc.2d 633 (N.Y. Sup. Ct. 1969), app. dismissed, 33 AD2d., 102 (4th Dep’t 1970), affd, 26 NY2d 54 (1970) (where city council was proceeding without or in excess of its jurisdiction, petitioner was entitled to judgment prohibiting such action). Here, Respondents’ act in a quasi-judicial capacity rendering a unilateral determination of which records should be preserved and which should be destroyed when New York State law indicates public records must be preserved with the public granted liberal access to them.
The clear language of the enabling statute and the subsequent regulations enacted pursuant
to that statute seek only to obfuscate public access to government records by failing to provide any
avenue for members of the general public to review materials submitted in connection with the
IDNYC program. See NYC Administrative Code § 3-115(e) and 68 RCNY 6-11. Respondents,
instead, focused their energy devising a methodology wherein public records could be destroyed
if the nation chose a member political party opposing their way of thinking as president., a clear violation FOIL. See Public 12 Officers Law § 89(8) (“Any person who, with intent to prevent the public inspection of a record pursuant to this article, willfully conceals or destroys any such record shall be guilty of a violation.”)
Respondents actions do not serve a legitimate governmental interest and represent actions in violation of the spirit and word of the Freedom of Information Law and are taken well beyond their jurisdiction of elected public officers.
The Court should rule that the IDNYC enabling statute and subsequently issued regulations restricting access to records and permitting their destruction violates the New York State Freedom of Information Law.
Respondents must not be allowed to subvert the Freedom of Information Law by enacting a scheme to permit agency workers to destroy documents and information. The intent and effect of such obstruction or obfuscation are contemplated and anticipated in the law.
New York’s Freedom of Information Law punishes “any person who, with intent to prevent
the public inspection of a record pursuant to this article, willfully conceals or destroys any such
record.” Public Officers Law § 89. One of the stated purposes of enacting the IDNYC program
was to provide citizens of New York City with access to identification which would ultimately be
treated similarly to a New York State Driver License issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles.
During floor debate, several members of the Council indicated the disparity between citizens living
in New York City that do not drive cars against those with cars. In fact, Director Tarlow from the
Mayor’s Office indicated the IDNYC program should function similar to the state Department of
Motor Vehicles. In fact, Council Members noted the similarity between the IDNYC program and
the licenses issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles to allay their concerns regarding the
possibility of fraud inherent in any governmental identification program.
The Vehicle and Traffic Law governing New York State Driver Licenses contemplate both
the transmission of personal information between governmental bodies and agencies, i.e. the
Selective Service, and public access to records kept in connection with the business conducted by
the Department of Motor Vehicles. See VTL § 502 and § 508. In fact, the regulations of the
Commissioner Motor Vehicles offer extensive rules concerning the public’s access to motor
vehicle records. See 15 NYCRR § 160 et seq. and 15 NYCRR § 161 et seq. Noticeably absent
from these extensive regulations is any regulation permitting the Commissioner of the Department
of Motor Vehicles, or the Governor, from destroying any information submitted by applicants to
obtain an identification through the department.
New York City’s IDNYC program vests authority to destroy governmental documents
submitted in connection with that program in the unelected bureaucracy of New York City’s HRA.
See NYC Administrative Code § 3-115(c) and 68 RCNY 6-11.
The precedent created by the IDNYC program’s confidentiality provisions begin a slippery
slope to government not by the people but rather by executive fiat. While such a solution created
by the Council and the Mayor may have been crafted with the best intentions not meant to abridge
the rights of New Yorkers, the road to hell is paved with good intentions.
The Kings County Conservative Party respectfully request this Court grant the Petitioner’s its Order to Show Cause seeking 1) an Order of Prohibition preventing Respondents from exceeding the jurisdiction of their office; 2) an Order finding the confidentiality provisions of the IDNYC program in violation of New York State’s Freedom of Information Law and declaring those portions of the IDNYC program permitting the destruction of public documents by New York City HRA and limiting public access to the same null and void, and 3) for such injunctive, other and further relief as this Court deems just and proper.
Dated: Brooklyn, New York
December 30, 2016
Ross Brady, Esq. for
Kings County Conservative Party
486 78th Street
Brooklyn, New York 11209
To: New York City Corporate Counsel
100 Church Street
New York, NY 10007
Attn: Thomas Roberts
Jeffrey Alfano, Esq.
Law Office of Jeffrey Alfano
1000 South Avenue, Ste104
Staten Island, NY 10314